The State Department claims a 1980s General Services Administration directive resulted in the destruction of many passport applications and other "nonvital" passport records, including Dunham's 1965 passport application and any other passports she may have applied for or held prior to 1965.
Destroyed, then, would also be any records shedding light on whether Dunham did or did not travel out of the country around the time of Barack Obama's birth.
The claim made in the Freedom of Information response letter that many passport records were destroyed during the 1980s comes despite a statement on the State Department website that Passport Services maintains U.S. passport records for passports issued from 1925 to the present.
The records released, however, contain interesting tidbits of new information about Obama's mother, including the odd listing of two different dates and locations for her marriage to Obama's Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.
In the released documents Dunham listed both March 15, 1965, in Molokai, Hawaii, and March 5, 1964, in Maui, Hawaii, as the dates and places of her marriage.
Dunham later divorced Lolo Soetoro in Hawaii. The divorce decree took effect Nov. 5, 1980, but the divorce papers do not list the date of the marriage.
No marriage certificate between Dunham and Soetoro has yet publicly surfaced, but a released application to amend Dunham's 1965 passport to her married name Stanley Ann Soetoro includes a checked box indicating a passport officer had seen the marriage certificate.
The released records also document that on Aug. 13, 1968, Dunham applied to have her 1965-issued passport renewed for two years, until July 18, 1970.
Under 22 USC Sec. 217a, from 1959 through 1968, passports were initially issued for three years, but they could be renewed for an additional two years.
Obama, by any other name
Also revealed by the released records is a heretofore unknown, alternative name for Barack Obama.
In the 1968 application to renew her 1965 passport, Dunham listed as her son Barack Hussein Obama, including in parenthesis below the name, "Saebarkah," in what appears to be a variation of an Indonesian surname not previously associated in the public record with the president.
For some unexplained reason, the designation of "Barack Hussein Obama (Saebarkah)" is crossed off the 1968 application by five handwritten, diagonal hash marks.
S. Ann Dunham in Indonesia
Dunham also appears to have used two different variations of her name in obtaining and amending passports while married to Lolo Soetoro: Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro and, without her maiden name, Stanley Ann Soetoro.
On April 27, 1981, Dunham applied from Jakarta, Indonesia, for a U.S. passport, indicating that she was in Indonesia working on a two-year contract from the Ford Foundation, from January 1981 through December 1982.
At that time, Dunham was working on a microfinance program for the Ford Foundation, which was overseen by Peter Geithner, the father of Timothy Geithner, the current U.S. secretary of the treasury.
Ann Dunham's occupation in the 1981 passport application was listed as "Program Officer, Ford Foundation."
No passport records subsequent to 1986 for Ann Dunham were released, though presumably a passport was issued following her 1986 application, such that the 10-year period prior to expiration would have extended one year past her death.
Dunham died Nov. 7, 1995, and was known to have been in Indonesia in 1994 when an Indonesian doctor first misdiagnosed as indigestion the first signs of the ovarian cancer that was the cause of her death the following year.
The released documents shed no light on proving or disproving whether Dunham might have held a passport prior to Barack Obama's birth that she could have used to travel to Kenya for his birth, as has been speculated in the absence of the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate from Hawaii.
The State Department released the Dunham passport documents July 29, responding to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Christopher Strunk, a New York resident who has actively pursued obtaining documents regarding Obama's birth and his eligibility to be president under the "natural born citizen" requirement of Section 1, Article 2 of the United States Constitution.
The Dunham documents have been archived on the Internet.
The controversy continues
A prominent array of commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Lou Dobbs, Peter Boyles and WND's Chuck Norris and Pat Boone have all said unequivocally and publicly that the Obama eligibility issue continues to be legitimate and worthy.
Longtime New York radio talker Lynn Samuels did the same.
"We don't even know where he was born," she said. "I absolutely believe he was not born in this country."
WND has reported on multiple legal challenges to Obama's status as a "natural born citizen." The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
Some of the lawsuits question whether Obama was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama's American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.
Further, others question his citizenship by virtue of his attendance in Indonesian schools during his childhood and question on what passport did he travel to Pakistan three decades ago.
Adding fuel to the fire is Obama's persistent refusal to release documents that could provide answers and his appointment of lawyers to defend against all requests for his documentation.
While his supporters cite an online version of a "Certification of Live Birth" from Hawaii as his birth verification, critics point out such documents actually were issued for children not born in the state.
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